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Sunday Rockpile: Better the devil you know than the devil you don't

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So while the Rockies and Phillies were getting frozen out of Saturday night's game, the Dodgers were wrapping up their series sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis, meaning that if Colorado manages to win two more games against Philly, and that's a pretty large if in itself, they will have to face the team they lost 14 of 18 regular season games to rather than the team they beat six out of seven times.

So to counter the doomsayers, fortunately, the 18 games before have already been played, and it's the four to seven that are coming that will be the Rockies only concern come Thursday if they survive until then. If you've ever done a task that you're capable of but not really good at repeatedly, you will usually get better at it as time goes along. This same principal can be applied to teams that are close to equal on paper but glaringly unequal in the results that matter. There will be some evening out, the Rockies will win some series against the Dodgers eventually, let's just hope it's the next series the two teams play and hope that series starts this week. 

The Dodgers, for their part, aren't providing bulletin board material for the Rockies yet despite owning Colorado this season.


The postponement of last night's game does provide for some interesting short series rotation switches by both teams, Philadelphia's now going to a LHP only rotation for the NLDS, JA Happ bumps Pedro Martinez out, while Colorado will be using all RHP's, but no Jason Marquis or Jose Contreras as Ubaldo Jimenez can now pitch Monday at Coors Field and Aaron Cook slides back into the Game 5 slot (if necessary) at Philadelphia.

Since the All-Star break, Jimenez has averaged over seven innings pitched with a 2.90 ERA in his seven starts at Coors and the Rockies have gone 6-1 in those games. Hence Dave Krieger's optimism:

What's more, Rockies hitters don't have quite the issues at home against LHP's that they do on the road:

The Phillies now have to worry about Clint Barmes (.283/.336/.498 at home) and Ryan Spilborghs (.265/.335/.435) doing serious damage. The team's right handed lineup, which has three or four holes on the road compared to the left heavy version, gets a big boost at altitude.


Denver Post



The team will likely be just as good next year at this point, and if they can make the right off season moves, they could be better. How we'll do in 2011 and 2012 depends a bit on whether players like Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart can bounce back and develop as well as Tulo and CarGo are, and also how the young quality pitching matures, but it's looking very promising right now.


Inside the Rockies


That last link is a good omen, right?






Westword's Michael Roberts points out that the Rockies trade last November keeps getting better. Matt Holliday went .167/.231/.417 during the divisional series against the Dodgers, not to mention a water cooler error that was about the only thing any of my friends who are into baseball seemed capable of talking about for the next two days, while Carlos Gonzalez is batting .556/.556/.667 thus far.